Saturday, April 19, 2014

Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass

Genre: YA Dystopian
Publisher: HarperTeen

Length: 327 pages
Original Publishing Date: April 24th, 2012
Series: The Selection #1
Where I got it: E-book from the Library

Links: Goodreads Amazon Author's Website

Synopsis from Goodreads:

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Main characters: 2/5
Okay, let's just ignore America's name because that's too ridiculous to even mention. The main problem I had with America is that she was bland and unmemorable. There were a couple moments where I thought she had some witty words and funny parts, but overall I was unimpressed with the characterization and development.

Secondary characters: 2.5/5

Both America and Maxon are pretty bland. However, Maxon definitely grew on me. He was blissfully naive about things, like talking to girls or comforting them when they cry and that endeared him to me. And America was his first kiss! Stop. Really. Too cute. This was also unique; I feel like we don't see a lot of male love interests who are less experienced than the female. One thing I didn't like? That love triangle! I won't comment on who I preferred except to say that Aspen's reason for breaking it off with America is ridiculous. Other secondary characters were underwhelming. They tended to fall under "the good guys" or "the bad guys" and I couldn't find much depth beyond that.

Writing style: 2/5
The writing moved quickly and I was fascinated by this world. The negatives included a lot of telling and not showing and not enough dialogue. For instance: "Marlee spotted me and we walked together". How? What did she say? What did they talk about? But then imagine the whole book like this. It was nearly impossible to picture most of what was happening in my head.

Plot: 4/5
Truly The Bachelor meets The Hunger Games. I liked the mystery introduced although I wish we had learned a bit more. I liked the caste system and thought it was a unique dystopian premise. Some of the back history was difficult to understand or believe, which diminished its sense of realism. In general, I actually didn't mind the plot. Okay, it seemed a little contrived at time but as a fan of the TV show The Bachelor, I was all in on this plot. It just needed a little more oomph in terms of plot points and details. 

Ending: 2/5

The ending was at a weird place. It kept me hooked if only because it felt like that spot should have been a chapter break not the end of the book. Like if it was the bachelor that was the end of an episode, not the season.

Best scene: The interview that America does

Reminded Me Of: The Hunger Games meets The Bachelor

Positives: A romantic interest whose lack of experience is charming, fast paced writing, an intriguing premise and world

Negatives: Bland main character, underdeveloped secondary characters, poor writing style, not enough plot details, ending. 

Cover: Wow, this cover is fantastic! The dress is stunning, the font is perfect, and the the colors are beautiful.

Verdict: Despite all the controversy and conflict, I enjoyed reading this dystopian novel, although I wouldn't call it a work of literary genius by any means. 

Rating: 5.0/10 (3 stars)

Your Thoughts: Have you read it? What did you think? If you haven't, will you be adding it to your TBR list? Let me know!

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